HMAS Armidale has undocked in Cairns after undergoing a major servicing and restoration project, which invested more than $5 million into the local economy.
FILE PHOTO (2006): HMAS Armidale near Darwin. Photo by Able Seaman Helen Frank.
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said local Cairns businesses played an essential role in delivering this key project for the Royal Australian Navy, but didn’t say how much the overall servicing cost.
“This is the first of several major maintenance projects coming up over the next two years,” Minister Price said.
“Thales Australia will continue to partner with local Australian businesses to maintain this important capability for the Navy while growing the local industry workforce.”
Local member Warren Entsch said the project was conducted at the Norship’s shipyards and supported around 100 local jobs.
“HMAS Armidale’s docking and maintenance period required significant technical expertise provided by 11 Cairns suppliers delivering over 200 crucial tasks during the project,” Mr Entsch said.
“This compliments the significant work undertaken by Navy’s Fleet Support Unit and the ship’s crew.
“With a substantial number of local companies qualified to provide expertise for later services this is a great example of how capable our local defence industry is, and the diverse range of companies taking up opportunities in the defence supply chain.”
Other than Norship, local suppliers involved were:
- Alpha Cool (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning works);
- Electrotech (electronics, radar and communications systems);
- Kelly’s Australia (ultra high pressure water blasting);
- Northern Waters (potable water systems);
- Pasma (specialist marine electronics repairs);
- Royal Wolf (container rental);
- Tinus Electrical (catering equipment);
- TQN (hydraulic systems);
- Trinity Fire (fire control and gas monitoring); and
- Far North Fabrication and G.A. Glanville (hull repairs and maintenance).
The Royal Australian Navy operates 13 Armidale-class patrol boats to support Operation Sovereign Borders, a whole-of-government effort to protect Australia’s borders and offshore interests.
Navy originally owned 14 Armidale-class boats, but one was damaged beyond repair by fire while undergoing maintenance in 2014, and later decommissioned.